MKE Tech News
Issue 35 - September 20th, 2021
Collective Impact

“Collective impact describes an intentional way of working together and sharing information for the purpose of solving a complex problem”, such as inclusively doubling tech talent in the region. 

Five core components need to be in place to create impact at scale, which is the model of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition.  
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC
Over the last month, we’ve seen the results of collective impact in the ecosystem:

  • Summer Talent Accelerator – Pre-internship: The Ethics and Impact of Data and AI increased the technical skills of 85 inter-disciplinary students from 27 schools through the support of 29 mentors, 20 speakers, and over 10 organizations.

  • Tech Career Expo had over 50 organizations collaborating to help over 500 registrants expand their understanding of tech careers, gain coaching on resumes and interviewing skills, and connect to over 30 employers.

  • Apprenticeship model is expanding to additional employers this fall. We have over 300 candidates who are eager to gain employment in software analyst/development roles.
In October, the Coalition will celebrate its two year mark serving as a backbone organization for collective impact with now over 100 members who have chosen to join us in the mission of inclusively doubling tech talent in the region.  We can’t wait for our next steps:

  • Tech Week will be October 25-31 with over 40 crowd-sourced events to help connect tech professionals and founders to community resources. A calendar is here.

  • Reverse Pitch will be expanded to four corporations (Froedtert/MCW, Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell, and West Bend Mutual) who will be presenting six challenge statements. $10K will be given to each of the winning participants, but the process provides coaching and market validation which creates a pathway to that critical first revenue. You can register for the kickoff here.
Coalition Updates
Membership Updates:
Welcome to the Coalition
Welcome to our new MKE Tech Hub Coalition who will contribute to the growth of our collective impact. We welcome three new Bronze Members: Children’s Hospital, UFS, and Vaco. In addition, we’re excited to add six new community members: Advanced Hires, Aurora WDC, Caravela IOT, Concordia, FarWell and Husch Blackwell.

Plan to help celebrate our 2 year anniversary on the afternoon October 25th. More details to come!
Bold Vision
Showcasing Milwaukee as a Tech Hub
Startup Milwaukee Week is now Milwaukee Tech Week, a seven-day celebration of tech and innovation across the ecosystem. Connect, learn & get inspired by the 40+ FREE community events hosted by 40+ partner organizations. View the calendar of events and signup to get plugged in.

Just some of the community-sourced events you can attend:

Thank you to all of our #mketech partners and sponsors who make this week possible.
Developing and Retaining the Next Generation of Tech Talent
To stay up to date on K-20 subcommittee priorities and progress, please check out our web page.
The events below are all part of the MKE Tech Talent Accelerator, a connected suite of experiences for students, educators and employers that advance early tech talent.   
The goal of the MKE Tech Talent Accelerator is to help students with diverse backgrounds understand their potential and connect them to resources that can help them contribute to the #mketech ecosystem along the way. 
THE RESULTS ARE IN! Ethics and Impact of Data and AI summer program made a big impact on students in MKE!
THANK YOU to those that were part of planning and/or executing this program in 2021. We had 29 mentors from 10 different organizations and 20 speakers who provided added support. The planning team took a deep dive into the pre and post survey data for the program and are excited to report the following results:

  • 85 participants representing 27 different schools

  • 87% of participants identified as being part of a group historically underrepresented in tech. 

  • 75% of participants completed all requirements within 10 weeks (including workforce modules from Microsoft/LinkedIn learning) and earned a Foundations in Data and AI badge certified by the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA).

  • As a result of participating in the program, completers reported, on average:
  • 40% increase in measures aligned to the perception of the MKE region as a great place to start a career
  • 49% increase in specific data/technical skills targeted by the program
  • 22% increase in identified measures of human literacy
  • 19% increase in identified measures of technological literacy
  • 17% increase in ability to develop an academic and career plan aligned to the future of work in a digital economy
  • Net promoter score of 5 on a 5 point scale!

A special shout out to The Commons team for managing all program logistics and to Matt Friedel of UWM for acting as the curriculum director. ICYMI: The showcase event was recorded and can be found HERE. The press release regarding the first ever HERA badge can be found HERE.

Finally, this program was honored as a finalist for the Focus on the Future award through MMAC in the talent category. If you are interested in joining the awards program on 9/24, you can register HERE.
THANK YOU! The impact of collaboration was felt on 9/14 at the MKE Tech Career Expo.

The MKE Tech Coalition presented the first annual Tech Career Expo on 9/14 (sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and powered by Booth Central). This event featured 48 keynote/panel speakers, a career counselor, resume/interview support, and 42 booths sponsored by our members and partners designed to help attendees develop and execute a plan to prepare for a tech/tech-adjacent career. Thank you to all of those that were part of putting on the event. Over 500 participants registered to attend. THIS truly demonstrates the power of the Coalition. We are all #mketech. We will have a full report to share with the community in next month’s newsletter. Read Tarik Moody’s initial story about the event HERE.
NEXT UP! Greater MKE Hour of Tech – Registration is OPEN

The 2021 Greater MKE Hour of Tech is happening on December 6-12 across SE Wisconsin. This regional week-long experience supports and expands the national Hour of Code movement during Computer Science Week and will feature a variety of activities that showcase the possibilities of tech - coding, design and user experience, cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence education...and more! Whether you want to volunteer as an individual, coordinate volunteers for your organization, host an event, or have your students participate – NOW IS THE TIME TO REGISTEREvent hosts should check out the planning guide and work with their teams to register their event. All event registrations are requested by early November so that we can adequately support your team and help promote your events.
Developing new sources of talent while demonstrating a value for diversity and upward mobility
To stay up to date on Re/Upskilling subcommittee priorities & progress, please check out our web page.
THANK YOU to all of the Higher Education and Re/Upskilling providers

Thank you to all who participated in the Tech Career Expo on 9/14. In addition to the keynotes, career spotlights, professional development and employer booths, your involvement specifically helped adult learners from non-traditional backgrounds navigate their options for pursing a tech or tech-adjacent career:
HELP US IDENTIFY GREAT POTENTIAL!  NEW Openings for Registered Software Development/Analyst Apprentices in Milwaukee! 
The MKE market is looking for mid-career professionals that are interested in re/upskilling into software development roles. Opportunities are sponsored by MKE Tech Hub Coalition employers and approved by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development as a Registered Apprenticeship. This is a TRAIN to RETAIN model. The selection process is powered by Apprenti (strategic partner of Technology Councils of North America (TECNA)). Referral agencies are encouraged to identify candidates with the interest and aptitude for success in tech roles. All candidates are encouraged to register/prepare for required assessments via Paid full time training starts in October with apprentices transitioning to employers in January.  Please share with others who may have an interest!  Participating employers will be disclosed prior to interviews.

Leveraging cross-industry partnerships to accelerate start up growth and innovation
Mark your Calendars: Reverse Pitch MKE Kickoff, October 27th

Join us for this year’s Reverse Pitch MKE, a unique pitching competition where corporations present business challenges to entrepreneurs and startups in search of the next great solution. Entrepreneurs are invited to pitch back their proposed solutions in February 2022, for a chance to earn a $10,000 prize, mentoring and coaching from corporate sponsors and community mentors. In addition, legal and operational support services are being offered to the winners by Godfrey and Kahn and Trivium.

The event will kick off virtually for startups interested in hearing the challenge statements and will be followed by a happy hour near downtown Milwaukee.
Attraction & Retention
Deploying strategies to attract and retain top technology talent
Designing Talent Strategy: Understanding and Responding To The Volatile Talent Marketplace (Register Here)

Kathy Henrich will represent Milwaukee tech ecosystem in this international session focuses on how to design an effective talent strategy, including elements such as talent attraction, management and retention. This session also covers the new skills and competencies that HR professionals need to learn to craft a talent strategy that optimally responds to the circumstances and the fast-changing reality of the talent marketplace.

Check out the 17 panels covering a wide range of skills, competencies and capabilities needed for HR to succeed in 2022.
Coalition Members in Action
Inception Health Team Creates Pyramid Model for Deploying Digital Therapeutics (Read more here)
The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Health Network created Inception Health six years ago and built a multi-disciplinary team to collaborate with innovative companies to develop and scale up digital solutions across the health network. In a recent presentation, three Inception executives discussed their progress in deploying digital tools for 29 different conditions.
Northwestern Mutual’s Internship Program Recognized as Top 100
Northwestern Mutual’s Internship was recently recognized as a one of the top 100 programs by WayUp. This past summer, nearly 200 interns, with 114 working in tech, got a taste of Northwestern Mutual. The majority of eligible tech interns are now joining the team fulltime! Over the course of 10 weeks, interns owned critical tech projects and products, alongside seasoned employees, to deliver value for the company and our clients. The #NMtech Internship Program is part of Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to giving diverse students real-world opportunities and a rigorous, rewarding early career experience that ultimately strengthens the tech talent pipeline in the Milwaukee region. Read more...
Fiserv partners with GalaxESolutions to bring additional jobs to Milwaukee (Read More)
Fiserv joins Northwestern Mutual in partnering with GalaxE for its “Outsource to Milwaukee” program, an initiative that aims to bring more than 300 offshore jobs in Information Technology to Milwaukee.
Resources & Opportunities
Calling all companies! Sign up for Early Stage Symposium; learn a lot, meet with investors
Applications are being accepted now from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, planned for an in-person format Nov. 3-4 at Madison’s Monona Terrace. The 2021 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track (five-minute presentations) and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics. All registered companies are eligible for “Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 24th at 5 p.m.
2021 Water Tech Challenge (Learn more and apply HERE)
The Water Council has announced three challenges for 2021 which include a $10K prize and mentoring through sponsoring organization’s R&D teams.  The three challenges include:
  • Microbial Control in Distribution Systems and in Buildings
  • IoT Enabled Water Quality Sensors
  • Elimination of High OPEX in Aerobic Wastewater Treatment
Summerfest Tech:
Many of MKE Tech Hub Coalition Members and partners spoke at Summerfest Tech. If you were unable to attend the event last week, or there was programming you missed, don’t worry! All programming (including all the live programming) is still accessible until October 8th! Visit to login or register.
Shine a Light on i.c.stars |*Milwaukee. A partnership with Light the Hoan
Light the Hoan supports and celebrates organizations inspiring positive change in our community. In September, i.c.stars |* Milwaukee and Light The Hoan are partnering to “shine a light” on the great work we do. Light the Hoan is committing to illuminate the Hoan in honor of i.c.stars on September 22nd at dusk. Light the Hoan is also donating 50% of September’s bulb donation proceeds back to i.c.stars |* Milwaukee. i.c.stars |* Milwaukee will appear on WISN 12 News in the 11AM hour. In case you miss the show, be sure to check out WISN online at
Maker Faire, Sept 24-26
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these "makers" to show hobbies, experiments, projects. Thanks to sponsors for making it a free event including presenting sponsor MSOE and Making in Education Sponsor, Northwestern Mutual. Learn more at
Wisconsin IOT Council 3Q Symposium, September 29th
Join us on Sept 29 to hear a case study of ioT in Healthcare, and discover new IOT startups.  Kathy Henrich will also be sharing research on talent trends important for attracting more talent to the region. For more information, register at
The W•O•M•E•N (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Entrepreneurs and Networking) reception, held in each of the last six years, features female entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Open to men and women, the reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of the Marshfield Clinic Health System, will be presenting at the event.
Milwaukee: The Hot New Tech Destination – Why, Who and How. October 19th Register Here
Milwaukee has long been known for its sports teams, breweries, concerts, and more fun... but now, peers are actively recognizing the city as a growing destination for technology. During an in-person event hosted by New Resources Consulting, meet the organizations driving technology in the area—learn why they chose Milwaukee, what challenges they faced and lessons they learned, and what they believe it means for the city to be considered a national Tech Hub. Kathy Henrich will host with panelists from Dematic, Generac, Molson Coors, and Northwestern Mutual
Signalwire sponsors annual ClueCon, Oct 25-28 
ClueCon gathers various open source projects to discuss VoIP, Telecommunications, WebRTC, and IoT. Join virtually or in Chicago if you'd like to see interactive demos, creative problem solving, predictions about the industry, or tech passion projects, Use discount code friendsofmketech21 for $699.99
Register today and consider a sponsorship for our annual sySTEMnow Conference on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 (Learn More)
The conference theme is STEM for Good: Equity / Innovation / Change and it is Metro Milwaukee’s premier STEM conference bringing together business leaders, community members, educators, and government officials to share best practices and lessons learned. The conference is for all stakeholders and is meant to build bridges in the STEM community that include K-12 education, higher education, STEM workforce and others.
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